Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) are important in initiation and regulation of immune responses against numerous foreign substances including food, microorganisms and their metabolites in the intestine. Since the responses of IEC against yeasts have not yet been well understood, we investigated the effects of Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and their cell wall components on interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion by the IEC-like Caco-2 cells. Live cells of both yeast species stimulated Caco-2 cells to produce IL-8 only in the presence of butyric acid, which is a metabolite produced by intestinal bacteria. S. cerevisiae zymosan and glucan also enhanced IL-8 secretion. Treatment of Caco-2 cells with butyric acid increased the expression of mRNAs coding for Toll-like receptor 1 (TLR1), TLR6 and dectin-1, which recognize zymosan. C. albicans induced more IL-8 secretion and also decreased transepithelial electrical resistance more rapidly than S. cerevisiae. These results suggest that both yeasts in the intestine stimulate the host's mucosal immune systems by interacting with IEC.